My cousin, who's not much older than I am, is dying of cancer and has chosen not to continue the battle. Which means he'll be gone from the planet in a matter of days.
I respect his choice. I understand it and, while he and I have never been very close, there are many in my family who will be amazingly struck by his loss.
Just two months in to 2010, I'm faced with the loss of two people who are family -- either by blood or by choice. The ripples have been non-stop and I don't anticipate they effects will slow for some time to come.
But there's one thing I keep coming back to with all of this. One thought I've had.
If I died today, this minute, would the people around me know how much I loved them? Would they know what they meant to me. Would they know what an impact they made in my life?
If you can't say yes to those questions. If you know you've left things unsaid or undone...do what needs doing and say what needs saying.
If you can do that, the ripples of your passing might hold less pain and more smiles for the ones you leave behind.